Business Profile: The Humming Bird, Cortlandt

The Humming Bird is the national bird of Jamaica. It is also a name of the restaurant located in Cortlandt that has been offering Caribbean and American cuisine since it opened three months ago on East Main Street.

The owners and cooks are the husband and wife duo of Dawn and Westford Briscoe, who reside in Tarrytown. Mrs. Briscoe came up with the idea for the name of the new establishment.

Some of The Humming Bird’s specialties are not your typical fare. One of the speciasl on the menu last week was cow foot soup.

With the exception of some of the baking, the couple does all their own cooking and currently has no employees.

The menu has such regular customer favorites as ox tail stew, jerk pork and chicken, curry chicken and goat, spare ribs and macaroni and cheese, to name a few What makes Caribbean food distinctive is the spices used, Mrs. Briscoe said.

“It’s unique. Not everyone can even cook it,” she said.

Jerk refers to the seasonings on the meats and the jerk dishes offered at The Humming Bird have varying degrees of spiciness based on a customer’s choice of sauce, Mr. Briscoe said.

The restaurant creates such juice drinks as fruit punch, carrot juice and sorrel, which is made from the plant. Mrs. Briscoe bakes most of the desserts, which include carrot cake, bread pudding, and Jamaicans fruit cake.

The couple has been working to build their clientele through several means, including word of mouth and the use of Facebook, Twitter and Yelp, as well as through the distribution of flyers, said Mrs. Briscoe, who is a native of Jamaica. The public’s response to the new eatery has been positive, she said. The restaurant was busy on a weekday afternoon with customers both eating in and having take-out orders.

While The Humming Bird, which is open seven days a week, is the first restaurant owned by Mrs. Briscoe, her husband has been in the business for his entire adult life.

“I’ve dedicated myself to this business because I love what I do,” Mr. Briscoe said.

Customer satisfaction is one of the major goals of the new restaurant owners. “We want everyone who comes in here to leave with a positive attitude, that the food is tasty and the portions are always appropriate and they will be satisfied,” Mrs. Briscoe said.

The Humming Bird is located at 2051 E. Main St. in Cortlandt Manor. For more information, call 914-737-0738 or send an e-mail to



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